Last time I shared the basic sloper for my sewing friend using her duct tape dummy and getting an idea about the fitting issues.
This time the pattern is for a princess seamed blouse from Silhouette patterns #700 which is OOP. My friend copied her size with True Grid material and I pinned it to her dummy to see how close we could come to fitting. Here is what we started with…spot the gaps and wrinkles:
It was obvious that the size she selected was too small and the spacing for the front princess seams were way off too so I went back to the paper pattern and traced off the next size up in muslin and started pinning but keeping all the horizontal and vertical grain lines straight.
Now that it looks closer to the real person, the front princess seams have been made closer together. I can draw out all the lines and tucks and darts and added patches and transfer this to paper: Can you see the red and black lines? Those are the original size 2 and 3 but where my friend’s actual bust point are is where the green lines are drawn, 6.5 inches apart, so that is where they will be on the final pattern. The excess is trimmed away and I leave a 3/4 inch seam allowance…why? Because this pattern calls for a 3/8 inch seam allowance but the muslin did not have much ease and it is always better to start with a wider seam and make the first version. Below is the left front panel on the wrong side of the muslin to show the folds and then the right side of the paper.They are stacked and pinned together for accuracy.
The right side panel had a larger fold but basically the same shape. The back panels did not have much altering except to slope one and add to the other. Now here is the finished pieces with the folds and patches on paper. How could anyone make this blouse using the pattern right out of the envelope?
So maybe you are thinking…whew…at least that’s done but when I tried the muslin on my client we discovered that since the dummy was made over 4 years ago, her spine had curved a bit more and the back pieces had to have another inch added straight across after slashing across where a yoke seam would be…you know my usual slash line. Once that was done and a 1 inch patch added, it worked fine. Now my friend has her new pattern and she can make up her first princess blouse and we can tweak further if she needs to.
The armholes are different with the right one being about 2 inches smaller so she will cut 2 different sleeves. She will also cut a new front facing and I elongated her collar because the left shoulder seam was expanded. All in all we have 11 pieces for one blouse but they are more proportioned to all the curves of my client.
So for those of you who wonder…do I need draping skills…if you are sewing for others, the answer is yes. Can you imagine measuring every single aspect of this woman’s body and mapping that on paper hoping you will capture the hills and valleys accurately? Maybe that is achievable but the client would be standing for a very long time and so would you over your drawing table. I say…let the muslin do the work, draw some grain lines and get pinning!